UNHCR appeals for USD 40mn to assist displaced Congolese

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
UNHCR Spokesperson Melissa Fleming while addressing
journalists in Geneva
[PHOTO: UNifeed] 
Geneva: The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that violations of human rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo were rampant and that funds are urgently needed to help almost half a million people who have been forced to flee their homes since April, as well as for 60,000 refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries.

The upsurge of violence in recent months includes murder, rape and forced recruitment of children, the Refugee Agency spokesperson said, and if this violence continues, the numbers of displaced could rise to 760,000 in coming months.

UNHCR is appealing for USD 40 million to assist these people.

UNHCR has 31 camps within the country, with large numbers of IDPs who need both aid and protection; in Rwanda, scarcity of land is hampering HCR's relief efforts and funds are needed to make land useable for the increasing numbers; and in Uganda, funds are needed to provide basic infrastructure and services to the refugees, which are lacking due to the remoteness of the border area where the camps are located.

Fleming said that 15,000 incidents such as rape and murder had been reported since April, but the Agency believe the real figure to be much higher as many incidents, particularly of sexual violence, go unreported.

The operation in DRC is one of the Agency's largest with more than 2 million people in need of assistance within the country. -UNifeed
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